Magpies Went From Two Center Backs To Four

It probably hasn’t gone unnoticed that for over two months Newcastle had to get by with only two recognized center-backs in Fab Coloccini and Mike Williamson, after Steven Taylor was out almost three months with a severe hamstring pull.

mapou yanga-mbiwa 91

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – training last week

But then on the day Steven Taylor was ready to start, Newcastle had just brought in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa the week before, and we suddenly had four experienced center-backs to choose from, after Fabricio couldn’t get a release from his contract at Newcastle,  and is staying until the end of the season – at least.

And it was Fabricio and Steven who got the nod, although Mapou did make his debut in the last 10 minutes in the win against Aston Villa and put in a good shift, as we held on for the win.

With Taylor having been out for six months the season before,  we could have done with Mapou coming in last summer, and we wouldn’t have been in the state we are in the league right now – but on the positive side – we suppose it’s better late than never.

And today both Sylvain Marveaux and Gabby Obertan are also now fit, after missing the game on Tuesday,  so we should have a very strong bench – which we will need if we are to get the win.

Alan Pardew isn’t worried about having two experienced center-backs on the bench:

“Isn’t that the way it’s meant to be at a big club?” “It’s not a dilemma in my mind. It’s how it should be, in my mind. If one of those centre halves under performs, we have real competition sitting on the sidelines.”

“And I have played three center halves by the way, I’ve done it here as well in some games.” “I would be very surprised if he has to wait until next season for his debut.”

We were surprised to see Perch in the side on Tuesday night,  but that was because Gabby and Sylvain were carrying knocks but with both of them being fit, we could see Sylvain Marveaux forming a front three with Gouffran and Papiss Cisse.

And we’ll have to hope that Papiss can show some of the goal scoring form he showed last season – now he is the main man at Newcastle again – after Ba left.

We’d love to get another win today – since we’ve been so short of wins since the beginning of November, but we’d be happy enough with another good performance and a point against the reigning European Champions.

Anything extra will be like icing on the cake.

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13 comments so far

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Feb 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #1

    Good seemed to be doing a job at Bradford too.
    Two strong CB’s is essential.
    I like the new signings they add a lot of options.

  • yo-yo

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #2

    Can’t’t have too many quality CBs

    now for the striking department ….

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #3

    From previous post, I see your point but still think Pards will start with STaylor then bring on Mbwia in the first after STaylors Coccyx breaks after an innoculos challenge from a ball boy.

  • Toon_Tom

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #4

    A lot of people wanting MBiwa to start but also wanting Saylor back to his best and starting with Colo – therefore :





  • Graeme

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #5

    I think we can win this game, providing we are on the front foot from the off. No pissing about for the first 20 minutes deciding if we are going to play or not!! We have to get after Chelski right from the whistle.

    Its also highly likely that Goofy & Sissoko will not make it through the full 90 minutes so the timing of the changes, as well as who comes on, could also be crucial – its no use waiting until one of them is on his knees.

    There is a lot riding on how Pardieu manages the second half imo!!

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #6

    MBwia might be used in midfield again.
    I think Pardew will stick with Saylor & Colo.

    Perhaps after the international break we’ll see MBwia as CB? There’ll be lots of training sessions and he wasn’t called up by France.

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #7


    I dread the 70 minute mark. Law of averages says he’ll get it right once in a while, and it’s been a long long while.

  • Graeme

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #8

    Toon Tom – a highly adventurous team mate; Not at all sure the game to try it for the first time should be against Chelski today!!

    It needs a lot of skill and dicipline to make it work, Saylor is probably far too excitable for the role – Mbiwa & Collo could cope, not sure Saylor could.

  • Graeme

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #9

    Hatem – we just have to hope he throws a double 6 this time lol

    There are players with the ability, sat on the bench, no doubt about it – he just needs to get the selection and the timing right, depending how we are fairing at the time!!

    Fingers crossed!!

  • Toon_Tom

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    Graeme – i understand what you mean, but it could work as if we have our backs to the wall for periods it would effectively be 5 at the back with also Sissoko and Anita helping, or if we start to dominate and boss the possesion it would be a 3-6-1 formation to keep the ball and boss the midfield with Cisse keeping an eye out for thru balls catching them off guard.

    Santon and Debuchy providing the width ofcourse..

    “I like Debuchy Buchy, I like Debuchy Buchy, I like Debuchy Buchy – We like De……BUCHY 🙂 “

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #11


  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Feb 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #12

    3 CB v lone striker.

    Means you’re getting overrun somewhere on the pitch probably midfield … unless they have 3CB’s too.


    Feb 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #13

    Still think we should of signed at least one Striker this window just gone! Has to be the no-1 priority in the summer!

    Providing Pardew gets his tactics right this time ! Plus we don,t collapse in the second half like we have done so often this year? We may have a chance of getting summit out of this game this afternoon?


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